Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parenting Leviticus Style

This was a little jewel I had not noticed previously reading through Leviticus, I feel like I am looking at this wonderful book with new eyes. So how many times have you been somewhere and you hear this....

"Owww, that hurt" cries little Sally in pain
"Sorry it was an accident" says little Johnny
"Oh, I am so sorry he didn't mean too" says Johnny Mom and off they go.

There was no consequence for Johnny and in fact Mom does not believe there should even be a consequence for the child that unintentionally did something to another person. Now I am talking about when it really was an accident, they honestly did not see other person. Normally, the child is not reprimanded and often not told to apologize or anything because it was an accident. Yet in Leviticus it speaks to the unintentional sin as follows:

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands- 3 " 'If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. Lev 4:1-3

The Bible is consistent in this attestation that there is punishment/discipline for unintentional sin as found in Numbers 35 the accidental murderer can retreat to a Refuge city. But if the murderer leaves the refuge city then the family of the victim can pretty much legally kill him.

So really isn't hitting, pushing, running smack into folks, slamming the door on someone,  etc.... these are all things where we are not paying attention to the people around us. In essence they (or we) are not: "lov[ing] your neighbor as yourself [which] is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." Mark 12:33 If we were loving our neighbors we would have looked before we slammed the door on them, ran haphazardly into them, slide down the slide onto them etc... 

In Leviticus (Numbers, Chronicles) the punishment for the unintentional sin is definitely less then the punishment for intentional sin. But there is still a punishment/discipline for the sin.Why? I know as I considered this I thought about how this would help to train our littles to always think of others first and to consider the possible negative (and positive) results of their actions.  I would also like to point out that God has mercy on these sins and thus so should we. The murderer has a place of refuge the accidental sinner has a lesser sacrifice to make.

The Bible points out that we are not to be lovers of pleasures (running full tilt, playing regardless of the danger to others, speaking their "mind" etc...) more then lovers of God. Ultimately, I want to raise kiddos who love their neighbors more then worldly pleasures and who do not make or seek excuses for their actions. How do you handle unintentional sin in your home?

May you be encouraged in your parenting to press forward toward the prize and as you search the word and find out God's will his good and perfect will for us all!

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